The recent new laws and regulations affecting Britain’s motorways and other major roads, the Highway Code, the official guide to the rules of the road, has been updated.
Many of these affect motorways, and in particular, Smart Motorways. Rule 258 of the Highway Code now states:
“Red flashing lights. If red lights flash on a signal and a red “X” is showing, you MUST NOT drive in the lane shown as closed beyond the signal. This applies until you pass another signal indicating that the lane is no longer closed, by displaying the word “End” or a speed limit sign and you are sure that it is safe to proceed.
“Red flashing lights. If red lights flash on a signal in the central reservation or on the side of the road and lane closed sign is showing, you MUST NOT go beyond the signal in any lane.”
The use of MUST NOT within the Code signifies that this is a legal requirement and drivers can be prosecuted for ignoring it.
The penalty for ignoring a red X symbol is set, currently, at £100. Cameras on motorway gantries are being used to catch and prosecute drivers that ignore the rule.
One other major change will be the access given to learner drivers to the country’s motorway network as part of their training.